A big bank has just gone on the record warning investors that a bear market is likely to start by the end of the year. So long as the Fed hikes twice more this year, which it is widely expected to do, a key bear market indicator will have been tripped. That indicator is the so-called “neutral level for interest rates”. The indicator preceded both the 2000 and 2007 bear markets. The idea is that the Fed will raise interest rates above their “neutral” level—the level at which they neither stimulate nor hold back the economy—and in doing so, will bring on a recession and bear market. The observation comes from bank Stifel, which summarized their view as “Weighing stability versus mandate, we believe the Fed has no realistic option other than to follow its projected dot-plot path, eventually revealing the speculative excesses created in the past decade”.
FINSUM: When you combine this indicator with the near yield curve inversion, it paints a very bleak picture indeed.